Whit BB Women Win, Await NWC Playoffs

News Release Date:
Friday, February 20

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Whitman College ran up a 19-point lead in the second half and cruised to a 67-54 victory over Lewis & Clark College in Northwest Conference women's basketball action Friday night in Sherwood Center.

With a win in its regular season finale, Whitman improved to 10-6 in the NWC (18-7 overall) and will finish no worse than tied for third place.

Whether Whitman takes the No. 3 or No. 4 seed into next week's NWC playoffs hinges on how Pacific University does in its regular season finale Saturday. If Pacific wins that game, it ties Whitman for third place and gets the No. 3 seed based on a tie-breaker.

The first round of the playoffs is set for next Thursday with NWC champion George Fox hosting the No. 4 seed. No. 2 Puget Sound will host the No. 3 seed. The winners of those two games will meet that Saturday for an automatic berth in the NCAA Div. III national tournament.

Rebecca Sexton, a 6-foot-3 sophomore center, led Whitman Friday night with 17 points and 10 rebounds, her third double-double of the season. Sophomore point guard Jenele Peterson added 11 points while first-year guard Jennifer Keyes came off the bench for 10 points.

Lewis & Clark, now 5-10 in the NWC and 11-13 overall, got 16 points from Megan Spence and 15 more from Christina Herring. Kimberly Kittel had 10 points while Margaret Dowling pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

Whitman led by as many as 10 points in the first half and was up 29-25 at the break. The Missionaries broke the game open with an 11-0 spurt early in the second half and pushed its lead to 59-40 with seven minutes left. 

Whitman shot 41.5 percent from the floor for the game, converted 19 of 21 free throws and outrebounded the Pioneers 41-32. A scrappy Missionary defense also held Lewis & Clark to a 29.8 percent shooting night. Junior Hilary White keyed the defense with four of Whitman's six steals. 

Lewis & Clark wraps up its season with a Sunday afternoon game against Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.

Box Score

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
holden@whitman.edu; (509) 527-5902